Water tariff hike minimal, says T’ganu MB

KUALA TERENGGANU: More than 73% of households in the state using up to 40 cubic metres of water per month will only see an average increase of RM1.80 to RM7.16 per month after the tariff hike on Feb 1, says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.

“The rate of increase is the lowest,” he told Bernama yesterday.

Ahmad Samsuri, however, said that the state government would continue to provide subsidies and initiatives to households as proposed by the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) when announcing the new water tariff adjustments on Jan 17.

He added that the support or initiatives offered to households by state water utility Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (Satu) currently included a subsidy of 20 cubic metres for users in the B40 group.

“This subsidy involves 11,832 accounts with an annual cost of RM1,176,180.

“The total value of water provided free of charge by the state government has increased from RM8.40 to RM10 per month for each recipient account. However, the higher cost will be absorbed by the state government,” he said, encouraging those who were eligible but had yet to apply to submit the necessary applications.

At the same time, he said that the provision of water subsidies would also continue for registered mosques and surau, involving 1,883 accounts.

He also stressed that SPAN’s adjusted average increase of 22sen per cubic metre was still not enough to cover the rising operational costs since the last review of water tariffs in Terengganu in 1997.

However, he said it would help Satu cover operating costs and continue efforts to improve service levels for 341,546 customers, 83% of whom are households, from November 2023.

Recently, SPAN announced the new water tariffs for domestic users in Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan would involve an average increase of 22sen per cubic metre, effective next month.